MAPPING US STEEL SOUTHWORKS

A Work In Progress…
Installation with 5 photographs
20 maps of the US Steel Site (dated 1880- 1997 printed on acetate)
color video with stereo sound loop on DVD
console with headphone attachment
rear projection screen
and 2 text panels, 2004.

This project is a collaboration between three people from 3 distinct disciplines. Dave Shaillol, Sociologist at The University of Chicago, Debbie Dodge, a Historic Preservationist, and Sabine Gruffat, Artist, unite in mutual discovery of what is partially destroyed and partially indestructible: the site of the former US Steel South Works, once the largest steel mill in the U.S., now an abandoned industrial ruin. The allegedly buried, torn down, and abandoned locale, becomes an unexpected locus for living, questioning, documenting, and approximating what is and may be in (its) place.

Our installation, reevaluates the concept of “map”, by offering opposing perspectives: one documenting the past, what the site once was both geologically and historically, based on photographic and textual documentation, the other takes us into a fictitious future, what the site could be. I envisioned the future on video. Eventually it turned into a larger project "And So Sings Our Mechanical Bride".